Category Archives: SherrieZone Quotes

I’ve decided to stop quoting others. I know that this is impossible for me because I love quoting wise thought provoking quips and witty insights. But…..I’m determined to start quoting myself. So…..we’ll see…..

Keeping Up With My Own Evolution: Reality

Perhaps, just maybe, the one thing I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty today is: “Reality is Individual”.  I no longer look around and think that I see my surroundings the same way everyone else sees them and especially that we feel the same way about them.  I also recognize that I see and feel about them differently from day to day. So not only is my reality different from the others around me; but, minute by minute, it is different for me myself.

I can accept that my reality is always changing.  For instance, at 7:00 a.m. this morning the sky around me was a bright hazy peachy-apricot color…..luminescent.  Twenty minutes later, clouds had accumulated so thickly that the sky was dark, grey and threatening.  Obvious, right?

But, what about the sunny day that I see as cheerful and then minutes later view the same bright blue sky as boring, or even worse, depressing? That had nothing to do with the sunshine or sky and everything to do with how I felt.  How I felt changed my perception, my reality.

Okay, this is the thought I am trying to let crystallize.  My beliefs are changing, evolving.  As they change, my reality changes. And….. I am beginning to recognize that how I feel means everything to me.   As my feelings change, everything about my reality changes.  I am causing these changes by being aware of my feelings and caring about feeling good, and feeling better, and even feeling great.

My mind-blowing conclusion is that my reality coalesces around me based upon my perception.  I love that word:  coalesce.  I love the images and feelings I have as I just even think the word.  As all of the relationships and things I want swirl around me, and congeal, coalesce, they become my reality.  How does this happen?  I have no idea.  I only know that it does.  I witness it happening every day.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the paintings of surrealists of the late 1800’s, early 1900’s.  I’m enjoying reading their biographies and seeing how their paths crossed with each other and the intellectuals of their time.  I feel them speaking directly to me as I patch together  their observances and quotes.

Salvadore Dali said, “One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.”  When he used the word “officially”, he couldn’t have meant world-wide…..could he?  Because reality is individual and no two humans have the same reality.  It is inconceivable to me that a large group of people could agree on such a thing.   We are all in such different cultural, social, political, economic and physical circumstances.

Dali’s friend, Rene Magritte, is quoted:   “If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.”  Waking life is what we realize as our reality, our conscious life.  The dream, our subconscious.  We are riding on a constantly twisting ribbon of dreams, imagination, subconscious and conscious flow.  We are carried along, if we allow it, to greater creativity and satisfaction.

Another of their buddies, Pablo Picasso, said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”  I agree.  Focus on what you imagine and it will expand until others can see it is real also.  That’s what reality is.

These surrealist artists allowed their beliefs about their dreams and subconscious minds to flood onto their paintings, untamed, in order to present a perception of reality that would cause the viewer to question his own perception and even the perception of the whole culture in which he lived.

I want those who view my paintings to question my inspiration, my intention, my sanity… doesn’t really matter…..just question.

Keeping Up With My Own Evolution: Contradiction

Salvador Dali was recently quoted in a fashion magazine.  “You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free.  Everything that is contradictory creates life.”

I’d love to have a conversation with Sal.  I see no benefit to confusion. I prefer in my own life to feel clear, clear about choices, observations and especially clear about my feelings.  I think creativity is unleashed in moments of clarity.  I’m not aware of receiving any brilliant ideas in moments of confusion, only muddied paralysis.

Perhaps my disagreement with him is in assuming that he is equating confusion with contradiction.  Because. in one respect I agree.  In fact, I believe that life is contradiction.  Everything about life is contradictory.  And…..contradiction gives life, fuels life and enriches it.  Contradiction not only breathes energy, enthusiasm and fresh air into life, life cannot, does not, exist without contradiction.

Without contradiction there can be no choice.  I’m a big proponent of choice; so, bring on the contradiction!  Put two dissimilar things side by side and a choice will be made.  But, put two objects that are the same side by side and what is the point?  Bring on the contrast. It’s the contrast that makes life rich, makes a painting readable and debates interesting.

Most likely, if we were to discuss all of this in person, we would come to some kind of agreement.  His quote was taken out of context, after all.  I enjoy his paintings because they are thought provoking.  I can only guess at what point he was trying  to make or…..if in his own individual perception he was just sharing his own personal observations and realizations in a way that would shock the viewer into taking a closer look.

My point:  I want to enjoy contradiction.  I want to listen and question and enjoy without needing to make any kind of a judgement.  Confusion, not so much!

Canal City Hakata, Fukuoka

Looking up at this gorgeous building, Canal City Hakata, Fukuoka, was impressive enough but imagine at the same time a symphony concert synced with the fountains.  It’s one of those goosebump moments when everything comes together just for your pleasure.  It’s sight and sound and the whoosh of water spray.

canal city hakata

Straight ahead, through those doors is the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, Fukuoka.  That’s where I first experienced iced coffee.  I’m an espresso girl.  Don’t try to talk me into cold coffee. But, I was urged “just try a sip, you’re going to love it”.  I tasted it, and okay, it’s okay.  “But wait, we haven’t put the cream in yet.”  Oh My Gosh!  Who knew iced coffee was so great?!!!

Korea Japan Jan-Feb 2016 024

Walking out of the Washington Hotel where I was staying in this massive complex, past the shops, restaurants, theatre, cinemas, and fountains to the Hyatt Regency entrance, there was so much to see.  It was a little more complicated and confusing because of all of the Japanese characters.  I’m so glad that pictures are a universal language all their own.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of the water in the canal.  It danced.  Undulated.  Swirled. Then the fountains stopped spraying and the water became calm.  Until, a soft breeze rippled across the mirrored surface in the most intriguing shapes and reconfigured them again and again.

These reflections look more like paintings to me than photos of water.  Well, actually they do look like photos of water.  But they are definitely inspiration for paintings.

Don’t you love going somewhere you’re never been before. Everything is new.  It’s as if your eyes were seeing for the first time and your ears had the volume turned up.  Maybe it’s an alertness…..all of your senses are enlivened…..that comes with being out of your comfort zone and in an excitement zone. “I love being in the SherrieZone.”

Go-To Clam Chowder

The Go-To Motto is:  Practice Makes Automatic!  This clam chowder is worth practicing, let me tell you.  It’s creamy smooth.  The roux is made by a fool proof method and produces a chowder that is perfection!

Go-To Clam Chowder

8 cups potatoes, 1/2″ dice
3 cups celery, 1/2″ dice
3 cups  onion, 1/2″ dice
2 cups green pepper, 1/2″ dice
3 cans minced clams,  6.5 oz. including juice
2 bottles clam juice
2 cups water
1 tsp. tabasco
2 T. dried thyme
6 bay leaves
2 T. salt and 1 T. pepper

3/4 cups. butter
1 cup flour
2 quarts half and half
chopped parsley

Combine all of the ingredients except butter, flour and half and half, in a large soup pot.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the veggies are tender.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a cast iron pan or pyrex baking dish, stir in the flour and bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes.  This will eliminate the raw flour flavor, forming a roux, and it will be used to thicken the chowder.

 Stir this roux into the chowder, stirring until thick.  It will be slightly less thick than cookie dough.  Remove the chowder from the heat.  Stir in the half and half until blended.  Heat to serving temperature, stirring frequently so it won’t burn.   Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve.

i use minced clams because clams can be tough.  I want the flavor so if I can only find chopped clams, I mince them myself.  If you have fresh clams, put in the big pieces, wow, they’ll be fabulous!

This recipe was adapted from the one served at the Market Street Grill and the Market Street Broiler in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This is a simple, fool-proof way to make roux.  I  just like more potatoes, onion, green pepper and celery … I added more.  They make the chowder heartier.  Whatever you do, do not leave out the tabasco… makes it!

It’s snowing today here in Utah.  We already have 18″-20″ of snow on the ground left from the last two storms.  It’s a “winter wonderland” day, a perfect day for warm, comforting, satisfying clam chowder…..if not for making, at least for reading about…..bon appetite!

This Is Physics

In looking for the source of an Einstein quote, I happened on a great site:  The Quote Investigator.  Someone else looking for the source of the same quote asked them about it and they used their sophisticated programs to do the research.

It turned out that they couldn’t link it to Einstein but in the process brought to my attention another choice quote:  “It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind.”  An Einstein quote from the 1948 film “Atomic Physics” [AEAP]

The quote I wanted validated  by Einstein was:  “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.  Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.  It can be no other way.  This is not philosophy. This is physics.”  I found it all over the internet in different forms.


The Quote Investigator attributed it to Darryl Anka starting about the year 2000.   As I look at the picture above with the quote superimposed over the face of Einstein, it seems to carry more credibility…..more weight, than the unfamiliar name Darryl Anka.  Afterall, I’ve heard about the genius Einstein all of my life.

I’m pleased to have found both quotes; they’re not incompatible in my mind.  They are both thought provoking and, of course, truth is truth wherever it is found.

And so… you want your your life to be full of joy and happiness?  (That seems to my focus lately.)  Then match the frequency of happy.  How do you do that?  Observe what makes you feel happy and do that.  Observe what makes you unhappy and don’t do that.  Using this process, over time, you will feel your happiness grow.  Way too simplistic?  Yes!  But, I believe it.

Another thing I’m convinced of is that “Joy and happiness come with being interested in life…..interested in people…..interested in learning, focusing on and being absorbed in things that fascinate you and make you feel good.”  And… can quote me!

The Intuitive Mind

A friend of mine recently SHOUTED gently in my ear that the basis of his reality was intuition, love, joy, creativity and accomplishment…..and added that these five elements should also be the foundation upon which I create my own reality. The impact I felt was not because of  volume but resonance.

As we discussed what reality/our own personal lives are, I became more and more aware that the principles I espouse or maybe it would be better said, the principles to which I give lip service, are not really the principles by which I live.

Exposed!  Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic.  Because, I face that dichotomy at the end of every year.  There’s always so much talk about New Year’s Resolutions, it can’t be totally ignored.  So I do give thought to changes I would like to have made in years past and whether I did or didn’t make them.

I noticed right off that critical judgements, gossiping, regretting, fear, hate, jealousy, awfulizing and feeling sorry for myself are not included in those five elements.  My friend suggested that perhaps basing one’s life on a clear foundation of criteria would mean focusing on them, on them alone.  That would also mean sorting and eliminating everything else.  And… there we are…..that would mean I would have to control my thoughts.


A few months ago, I was introduced to meditating.  I was resistant at first because my mind was so full of clutter.  Random thoughts seem to pop in and out so quickly and meditating makes me so much more aware of them.  But, gradually my whole nervous system began to cooperate.  Like everything, I guess, “practice makes automatic!”

I think the benefit of meditating is that it’s calming and quieting and in that state I can listen.  When I listen, I can even hear myself.

So what I’ve learned and what I’m sharing with you is that paying attention to my own intuition leads to love, joy, creativity and accomplishment.  Intuition is like a trail head.  It’s a starting point that leads down paths of love, happiness and fulfillment.  Wow!  It’s amazing to me that one conversation can cause such a life altering light bulb moment.  I’m so thankful for friends.

The Game Of Life

If you believe The Beatles, in time, you can learn how to play the game… time you can learn how to be you.  Do you need a coach, a mentor?  Do you need intelligence, beauty or hard work?  No!  They might be helpful; but, they’re not necessities.  All you need is LOVE! That is…..if you believe The Beatles.

The kids in my life are always wanting to play a game.  They have a wonderful talent.  They live in the now.   Mostly, they want to hide and wait, heart pounding, to be found…..because it’s exciting and fun!  When we run around around the house and hide in closets, we are so focused on finding a good hiding place, quieting our breathing and patiently waiting, there is no other reality.

Then as quickly as the hide and seek game was organized, it’s over.   On to another game, something different, perhaps making a tent in the living room or doing cartwheels on the lawn.

I think The Beatles are on to something.  I want to learn how to play the game.  I want to learn how to be me.  I want to have fun, be playful, lighten up, laugh a lot and giggle more. This sounds like one of those things that are simple but not easy.   It will probably take a lot of practice to get good at it; but, I’m willing to put in the time.  And like I love to say “Practice Makes Automatic”.



Be Vulnerable


Joseph Raffael told a story about his daughter coming into his studio while he was looking at pictures he’d taken trying to choose the subject of his next painting. She told him she was sick of water lilies and asked when he was going to paint something else.

He let her choose his next subject. It was a rose. He had taken pictures of roses for years but since “men” didn’t paint roses, he never had.  He said “it’s one thing to paint water lilies, they’re symbols–transcendental–metaphysical–but how could I paint a rose”.

He painted the picture she chose and now it’s one of his favorites.   Then he commented:   “the point is that, in order for me to be my whole self as an artist and as a person, I have to  open up those parts that are most vulnerable”.

I recently attended a CEO Space Conference with my husband expecting a two week vacation in the sun while he networked with other business people.

But…..I spent every meal with 6-7 other entrepreneurs and a faculty member and lasted 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  The focus was on cooperating rather than competing and helping each one of us crystallize our purpose and formulate specific steps to achieve our goals.

The whole process was a giant wake up call for me.  In the beginning, I couldn’t even articulate what I wanted.  I didn’t know what I wanted. How sad is that?  As I soul searched through the first days…..imagine spending six hours a day with coaches and mentors eager to help you find yourself, not your facade but your real self.  Then, between meals were hours of workshops and seminars.

I kept looking around the different venues, at all of the accomplished people around me, feeling alone.  Feeling less. But, as I made friends and heard others’ stories, I realized we were all the same. Yes, some of us were more composed and confident at the moment. But, life has a way of presenting ups and downs…..challenges and solutions.

At the graduation ceremony , Berny Dohrmann, the CEO and Chairman, thanked us for being vulnerable!  I sat there for a moment, struck by that statement and realized that’s what had happened.  He had created an environment that was safe and all inclusive as well as stimulating…..energizing.  Creativity blossomed all around me.  This large group of people had let down their barriers and become vulnerable to one another. It was amazing!  I felt amazing!

That experience is why I’m blogging…..why I’m painting again.  That’s why you’re seeing my paintings on my blog.  That’s why I’m loving life again. The message I received and the message I pass along to you is “be real, be you, be vulnerable.”001

Thanksgiving Assessment

The table cloths and flowers worked beautifully. You know how you try to picture in your mind what the colors will do to each other…will they play nice and  make each other shine?  Well this is a combination I’m going to use again.  We planned to eat dinner about 3:00 p.m.  The day before was bright and sunny so I didn’t put candles on the tables. But, Thanksgiving  Day was grey and low light. So, I slipped on some votives at the last minute.  Candle light with yellow roses is like being in Tuscany in the late afternoon.


The turkey was gloriously golden.  Basting really is key to moist turkey and crisp skin. The mashed potatoes were to die for and made delicious fried potato cakes the next morning.  The steamed green beans with almonds, spinach salad, yam soufflé, Rachel Ray’s apple, onion stuffing, rolls and (of course) our traditional cherry jello “salad” were all delicious.

Pie was a different story.  We made two pumpkin pies the day before.  And….you know how you turn down the temp for the last 40 min…???  I turned the timer on but didn’t turn down the temp.  Then I left to pick up a few last minute things. Thankfully, my husband discovered the problem 20 min. in and lowered the temp to 275 degrees. The lesson was learned for this year:  finish one task before rushing off to do another. “Slow down and actually enjoy the process.”  Then your crust won’t be burned.

Then, consider the banana cream pie..  If you haven’t made one since last Thanksgiving,  and haven’t made a note on your recipe card, be sure to make it a day ahead.  Yes, put the whole thing together the day before and refrigerate.  It needs to SET.  If you put it together right before you are going to serve it,(so it will be fresh, what other reason?), you are doomed to sloppy banana pudding in a crust.

Plus…we talk about miracles around Christmas, but, Thanksgiving?  We had three babies under 18 months all asleep during the entire dinner.

Other than a last minute surprise guest, rushing the turkey out of the oven to accommodate guests needing to leave for another scheduled dinner and other guests arriving late, everything was lovely.  If this doesn’t even remotely sound familiar to you, that’s okay, around here, it’s perfectly normal. Thankfully, we won’t have to do that again for another year.  That’s my Thanksgiving Assessment.


We all need a little witch!

There are days when in just a few seconds everything changes.  I can think of a few in my life that involve accidents, phone calls advising of deaths and births and even a conversation at what  was supposed to be a lovely lunch.

The whole month of October,  the hills all around me were so stunningly beautiful,  I couldn’t stay inside.  Every errand I started out on ended up sidetracked by some vignette that begged to be recorded.  A wild gang of turkeys was so intriguing that my husband and I stalked them for half a mile for some good pictures.  The deer sauntered in and out of the turkeys totally uninterested in them or in us.  Magical.

Then, there was the day right before Halloween when I gave in to the pleading “can we go to the park”.  It was afternoon.  The sun was low in the sky.  The light was hazy.  The shafts of light coming through the trees looked like spotlights here and there.  We moved in and out of groves of trees taking pictures.  Then all of a sudden a little witch darted in and out of the bushes laughing and screeching “look at me”.  I laughed and laughed.  What a surprise!  The murky shroud of loss that I had allowed to cover me had lifted…and evaporated.  I need to laugh more.  We all need to laugh more. ” We all need a little witch!”

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